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Over the years, I've grown to learn that I'm thankful for all things the Lord has bestowed upon me, both in plenty and in want, as I know that even "times of testing" are tools He uses to refine our character and put us in position to better receive and appreciate Him and the good and abundant things He has for us, pressed down, shaken together, and over-flowing. It’s now 2012, a lot has transpired in the last 4 yrs., and I've developed my own photography business that stands on "Quality without Compromise." It's called Sandra Koster Photography, and you can find me at my website, and on Facebook, where I have both a Page and a Group by the same name. My Mission Statement: To bring to you and your families the essence of the moment, those treasures in time that are memorialized by the awesome invention of the camera. There is no part of God's creation, from the moon to the molecule, on land or under the sea, no animal, plant or bug too big or too small for my attentions. From inland, to the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, to the country, to the jungle, to the shores of the tropical seas I pledge quality work, without compromise.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What God Requires of Us vs. the Sin we See

As per God's Word, there are 2 verses specifically, among many others, that the Lord impresses upon my heart regarding sin, warning, and accountability. Here is the first verse about the actions of a sinner needing to be called into accountability lest their actions go unrebuked and their hearts become set to repeat the sin, thereby establishing a pattern of rebellion, aka a behavior.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 (NKJV) - "Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

In the NLT: "When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel safe to do wrong."

In the NASB: "Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil."

Like with the Watchman on the wall in Ezekiel's day, when a person is involved in an action that is clearly a sin per God, He instructs us to warn them and if we choose NOT to, because we are afraid of "ruffling their feathers" or the discomfort of doing so, then God says that WE will be held accountable in their stead.!!! That's scary. Therefore, as in the second verse, if we warn them and they choose NOT to turn away from their sinful actions or omissions, then our soul will be delivered from all part of their iniquity.

Ezekiel 3:18, 19 (NKJV) - These verses, from now on, will be copied from the Blue Letter Bible, a great study tool of a Chuck Smith ministry, and if you click on the individual verse citations, you will be able to read a variety of Scripture helps including a list of commentaries about them. Here is the website URL: http://blueletterbible.org/

Eze 3:18 "When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Eze 3:19 "Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

Per the NLT:
Eze 3:18 If I warn the wicked, saying, `You are under the penalty of death,' but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible, demanding your blood for theirs.
Eze 3:19 If you warn them and they keep on sinning and refuse to repent, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved your life because you did what you were told to do.

Per the NASB:
Eze 3:18 "When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
Eze 3:19 "Yet if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered yourself.

The whole topic of a "sinful" matter comes under the heading of Accountability first:

There are a variety of types of accountability: Restorative; Preventative; Constructive; & Task-Oriented.

Denial (2Sam. 12:1-7) and Lies (Col. 3:9) "If a person is not willing to admit mistakes or failures, there can be no accountability."

Blame (Gen. 3:11-13) and Pride (Rom. 12:16) are enemies or obstacles to accountability being effective. "Humility is a cornerstone of accountability...and it is not easy to make oneself vulnerable to another person's scrutiny" (The Soul Care Bible, pg. 966).

"When a group meets for accountability, questions are asked that encourage honesty and revelation. 'Have you lied to anyone since we last met?' is an example of the type of questions that can provide structure to the meeting. "

"Accountability brings the body of Christ together in a supportive way to encourage us to grow in Christ. It allows the development and use of our gifts and promotes unity within the body. We grow by doing what is right. Through accountability, our faith is strengthened by the example of other's obedience" (TSCB, pg. 966).

For a believer to enter into a carnal lifestyle (aka "the brethren") evidences unacceptable behavior that shows an active, on-going action of the chosen sin that makes God a harlot and the sinning believer an adulterer in his lifestyle. An on-going action is not the same as a "Peter thing" of backsliding by his denials of Christ over a several day period.

The sin of adultery is an important topic for several reasons.

First, for a marriage to be restored, it's important to retain a heart of forgiveness and humility in order for that restoration to be possible.

Second, the faithful spouse, any children of the marriage, the church and God, have been offended by the adulterer, and confession and true repentance (a broken and contrite heart that turns a 180 from the sin and realigns with God's holy standards) needs to occur. God's Word says that unless there's a Biblical divorce, the sinning spouse makes anybody he/she gets with after the fact an adulterer too, by association.

Now we go to the book of Hosea, Hosea, whose heart was broken by his wayward spouse, Gomer, seeking intimacy with someone else. But "despite the hurt and anguish that Hosea experienced by Gomer's actions, he went to great lengths to find Gomer and bring her home." But just like how wayward Israel hurt and wounded God by their spiritual infidelity, He loved them and wanted them back." This is a good book to read in order to see a spirit of forgiveness in action as it relates to God and Homer.

"People faced with adultery struggle with some of the most painful of human emotions: abandonment and betrayal, as well as anger and despair. Although adultery strikes at the heart of the marriage covenant, forgiveness and healing are possible, and broken marriages can be and are being restored" (The Soul Care Bible, pg. 1128).

The God I serve, the God that is the Savior of my life and who has Headship of it, Jesus the Christ, is the God of the resurrection, and He alone makes what appears to be dead, live again. He can take a broken and bruised life, or marriage, and restore it or you back to glory beyond all comprehension.

In God I trust (Psalm 71), what about you?

A few Quick References:

Accountability: Jer. 3:11

Adultery: Hos. 1

Boundaries: Ex. 20:1-17

Depression: Psalm 130

Divorce/Separation: Deut. 24:1-4

Family Life: Josh. 24:15

Family Problems: Gen. 25

Fatherhood: 1 Chron. 3:1

Forgiveness: 2 Cor. 2:5-11

Healing/Recovery: James 5:14

Health/Spiritual: 2 Sam. 12:1-23

Hope: Jer. 29

Jealousy: 1 Peter 2:1

Loneliness: Ps. 69:1-8

Love: 1 Cor. 13

Love Languages: 1 John 4:12

Marital Communication: 1 Pet. 3:1-9

Marital Problems: Col. 3:18-19

Marriage: Mark 10:1-12

Obedience: 2 John 6

Pain: 2 Cor. 12:9

Prayer: Mat. 6:5-13

Premarital Relationships: Ruth 3:10-14

Relationships: Eccl. 4:9

Repentance: Ps. 51

Responsibility: Jer. 1:8-10

Restoration: John 21:15-19

Sexual Integrity: 2 Tim. 2:22

Sexual Sin: 1 Thes. 4:5

Sin: 1 Kin. 8:31-40

Singleness: Matt. 19:12

Temptation: Gen. 39:6-15

Truth: Zech. 8:16, 17

Values: Gal. 5:22

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